Plotinus in 200 AD wrote, "To deny evil a place among realities is necessarily to deny a way with the good as well." I am certain you often heard that evil cannot exist without good. For certain how can white exist without the contrast of black. The clench and chills of the reader is heightened when there are sharp defined lines between an honorable character facing a foe of a merciless horrendous nature. Though we might surrender to providing a singular redeeming quality to a foe, it is often over-shadowed by their true fully-unredeemable evil.
Yet, what does one do when faced with multiple evils. There are times a hero/shero must make a choice and according to Thomas à Kempis, "Of two evils always choose the lesser." As a writer with the power, we say bull-bleep that, destroy both, or maybe allow one to decimate the other. There are infinite options that makes our job utterly delightful.
Sometimes, though, as I or we joyfully enter the mind of the monster, as I tweak and twitter among his/her psychosis, maniacal obsessions and infinite delusions, I feel like a co-conspirator, for to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it." And, in the sense of the literary voyeurs that is exactly what we are doing. We are allowing it to thrive and grow, to play with the good people of that particular universe, torment them, hurt them and all without an ounce of remorse. Is that terribly heinous of us? Does that make us monsters as well? I sometimes wonder what is so twisted inside me that makes this such fun, for in truth, I take to the villain(s) much more easily than Zi does. Should I be concerned for my mental health?
Franz Kafka wrote, "What we call evil is only a necessary moment in our endless development." Hence, the answer. I know the effect evil has on the reader. And I want that terror to dip deeply into their primal fear until every bump and squeak has paralyzed their need to scream, battered pulses to quickening, and have their breaths shorten and raspy. That is how I see my/our writing endeavors when it comes to devising the most beastly of all scoundrels, our work is growing into the perfect piece to scare the beejees out of our readers. So, if it takes Angelica and/or Zi to be a bit evil hungry in the sense of respecting it as a fabulous plot device then so be it.
In reality, we both hate evil, hate the clawing and degenerate nature of its makeup, hate the existence of those that hurt others for hurt's sake or even worse for their own demented pleasure. The truth is that the joy of allowing the monsters their day of victory resides in the outcome of each story. In thawing their evilness, rubbing their self-satisfied smugness into the realization of their inability to succeed, the evidence of their cowardliness and the actuality of their failure is what, we believe, gives the reader the greatest pleasure, and it is they that we so humbly serve.
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Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
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